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Author: Taras Kuzio

The Case for Ukraine’s Membership of NATO

NATO has accepted countries with problems concerning territorial integrity in the past. However none of the size and strategic importance such as Ukraine. What are some of the arguments in favour of Kyiv entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation?

May 18, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

Yulia Tymoshenko’s Controversial “Middle-Man”

The opaque money trail behind Yulia Tymoshenko's bid to become Ukraine's next President. How a lack of transparency and the involvement of suspicious characters threaten Ukraine's democratic process.

April 19, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation and its contribution to Ukraine’s independence. A Memoir

The Polish discussion on Ukraine and the “Eastern Question” filled the pages of many of the underground publications that existed in the 1980s in communist Poland. Similar to Kultura since the late 1940s, they called for reconciliation between former enemies and mutual forgiveness for past crimes committed by all sides.

Growing up in northern England I was surrounded by nationalisms of different kinds. Irish nationalists seeking a united Ireland were at war in Ulster and had brought their terrorist campaign to the British mainland. Eastern European refugees from the communist bloc had brought their nationalisms with them to Great Britain and these continued to open old wounds in the émigré ghettos. The two biggest of these nationalisms were Ukrainian and Polish. Most members of the Ukrainian community in Britain were members of the three wings of the OUN (Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists) with the Stepan Bandera wing by far the largest. Their primary enemy though was the Russians and the Soviet empire – not Poles or Poland.

January 2, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

The genocide myth and Poland’s victimisation complex

One of the best examples of fake news in the post-communist world is the finger pointing by Russia and Poland towards Ukraine. Instead of looking in the mirror at the mainstreaming of nationalist discourse both countries point to “nationalists” in Ukraine. Yet, populists with nationalistic tendencies receive between 40 and 70 per cent support in Polish or Russian elections respectively, while in Ukraine they are unable to cross the four per cent threshold to enter parliament. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s Solidarity party has never given its support to rallies of nationalists.

December 1, 2017 - Taras Kuzio

A reset was always fake news. New sanctions are not

On August 2nd, US President Donald Trump reluctantly signed tough new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. He had little choice since they passed both houses of the US Congress unanimously; 419 to 3 in the House of Representatives and 98 to 2 in the Senate, enabling them to block any presidential veto if Trump had decided not to sign them into law.

August 4, 2017 - Taras Kuzio

The Trump campaign and Putin’s agents of influence: The case of Viktor Medvedchuk

The twists and turns of the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s ties to Russia have reached a new level with the discovery that one of the Russian contacts his campaign had was with Viktor Medvedchuk. The former Defence Intelligence Agency chief, Michael Flynn, and other advisers to the Trump campaign were in contact with Russian officials in at least 18 telephone calls and emails during the last seven months of last years’ US presidential election.

June 7, 2017 - Taras Kuzio

Umland needs a more balanced approach

In his text published on New Eastern Europe titled “The Ukrainian government’s Memory Institute against the West”, Andreas Umland brings up some important questions in his analysis of the Ukrainian government-funded Institute of National Remembrance. Nevertheless, he falls into pitfalls of his own choosing and three points need to be clarified.

April 11, 2017 - Taras Kuzio

Why Poroshenko cannot win a second term

Is history repeating itself in Ukraine? After popular mass protests, a president comes to power promising reforms and European integration but does not provide the political will to fundamentally change the kleptocratic coalition of clans that rule the country. The president maintains the criminal old guard in power and corrupt oligarchic system in place. The public becomes increasingly angry that no “bandits” are being sent to jail.

January 3, 2017 - Taras Kuzio

Seven reasons why a Trump reset with Russia will fail

The unexpected election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has brought shockwaves in the US and around the world with headlines talking of a “crisis in foreign policy”. His victory is allegedly a “boost to Putin”. Trump’s election campaign rhetoric certainly merits caution in his domestic policies. During the election campaign, Trump was heavily criticised for having close ties to Russia and saying positive words for Russian President Vladimir Putin. US intelligence agencies accused Russia of hacking into Hillary Clinton’s campaign and working for a Trump victory. The former acting director of the CIA Michael Morell described Trump as an “unwitting agent of Russia” and Russian state duma deputies applauded his election. Nevertheless, an improvement in relations between the two nuclear powers is unlikely to take place for seven reasons.

November 21, 2016 - Taras Kuzio

The Ukrainian diaspora as a recipient of oligarchic cash

The Ukrainian diaspora has been a cheerleader for democratisation, reforms and the integration of Ukraine into Europe while, simultaneously, some of its members have been willing recipients of Ukrainian oligarchs’ financial assistance. These two stances are contradictory because Ukrainian oligarchs are often pro-Russian or at the very least they are only interested in personal enrichment and not Ukraine’s national interest and are never supportive of the establishment of a rule of law based state in Ukraine. Acceptance of funds from Ukrainian oligarchs shows that financial donations have been paid to a far larger group of people than only US political consultants.

August 26, 2016 - Taras Kuzio

Lawyers and guns: Dirty Ukrainian money in the US

While the western media has been recently full of reports and analyses of Paul Manafort (now former manager of Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign) and his ties to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence, the deeper links between Ukrainian oligarchs and Washington are only beginning to see the light of day. A report in the New York Times about ties between the Clintons and international funding, including from Ukrainian oligarchs, was merely the tip of the iceberg.

August 23, 2016 - Taras Kuzio

A Real House of Cards: Trump, Putin and Yanukovych

Those who have watched the Netflix series House of Cards may be surprised to read how close it is sometimes to reality. Both candidates in this year’s election for president of the United States – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – have accepted donations from Ukrainian oligarchs and Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who is in hiding in Russia. Yanukovych is wanted by Interpol and by Ukraine for mass corporate raiding of Ukraine’s state budget and leaving the country bankrupt, murdering EuroMaidan protestors and committing treason when he supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

July 27, 2016 - Taras Kuzio

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